Note: this article, featuring our Deputy Director of Legislation Irvin McCullough, was originally published here.
US Lawmakers Come Up With Bill For Feds To Reveal Identity Amid Portland Controversy
US lawmakers New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Washington DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton to introduce a new bill on ‘secret police’.
After several videos emerged on social media showing riot police in Portland, Ore without clear identification badges using force and unmarked vehicles to transport and arrest the Black Lives Matter protesters, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Washington DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, will be introducing a bill this week that would require the federal law enforcement officials to state their identity clearly. The controversy spiralling due to the recent turn of events in Portland has been severely criticised by many lawmakers in the United States where the people have posed questions over the “secret police force”. Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on July 21 and said that the nation should not keep the identity of federal officers a secret.
According to the draft bill, if passed, the law would reportedly require the federal agents on duty to not only display the names of their agency but also the name of the individual. This comes after several federal agents, some wearing camouflage and others wearing dark Homeland Security uniforms took measures to stop the Black Lives Matter demonstrators. According to reports, they used tear gas several times. One 60-year-old participant of the BLM rallies that are taking place daily reportedly said that the actions taken by the force were ‘terrifying’.
These ‘questionable’ federal agents are taking these drastic steps to stop the protesters in Oregon as a part of US President Donald Trump administration’s latest executive order that calls for protection of American monuments. Since the US citizens began raising their voice against racial injustice and police brutality across the nation triggered by the death of George Floyd, the use of military force has been Trump’s resort for the ‘rioters’ and ‘looters’ who are damaging public property. Even Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf blasted some of the protesters as “lawless anarchists” in a visit to the city.
Oregon seeks legal aid to stop feds
Ocasio-Cortez’s announcement of introducing the bill calling for transparency of federal agents came just a few days after reports suggested that Oregon’s attorney general is seeking legal order to stop the federal agents from arresting the demonstrators in Portland as the city continues to be ricked due to BLM demonstrations. The nightly protests have been witnessed by the city for at least seven weeks and now the local officials are uniting against the Trump administration.
Irvin McCullough, the deputy director of legislation at the Government Accountability Project has reportedly noted that numerous lawyers in the United States are currency echoing the same concerns with the events that are taking place in Oregon. According to reports, McCullough has said that questions ranging from transparency to the use of violence are being raised and according to him, the citizens deserve to know the identity of the individual who’s arresting them.
While sharing an article about police brutality, former Democratic presidential hopeful, Elizabeth Warren wrote on Twitter, “I thought we’d already covered this after the attacks in Lafayette Square: the US government should not be using unidentified federal officers as a secret police force to terrorize US citizens & violate their constitutional rights. This is outrageous.”